Legal Business Blogs

Progress but still work to do on Bunhill Row as Slaughter and May discloses gender pay disparity

Slaughter and May has become the latest magic circle firm to reveal a difference in pay between its male and female fee-earners, placing it ahead of Linklaters but behind Allen & Overy for overall gender disparity on pay.

The firm today (14 March) published its statutory disclosures. The numbers reveal Slaughter and May pays male employees almost 55% more in bonuses compared to women. Men also earned 14% more than women on average, with the gap widening to 38.5% when the figures were considered on a median basis.
The figures have been released ahead of the 4 April deadline under the Equality Act 2010 that requires law firms to disclose their gender pay figures.

Slaughter and May’s figures are marginally better than Linklaters, which announced a 39.1% median pay gap in favour of men and a sizeable 60% more on average in bonuses earlier this month. However, both firms lag significantly behind A&O, who revealed its median pay gap stands at 27.4% earlier this week, while the median bonus figure lies at 23%.

The reports come against the backdrop of growing scrutiny towards the treatment of women in law. Executive partner Paul Stacey said in a statement ‘Our analysis of the underlying figures shows that our one-firm culture remains strong, with the gender pay gap for associates and business services professionals yielding encouraging results.’

However, when staff ranks are broken down by quartile, the results are more positive. The gender pay gap for associates is particularly encouraging, with associate women paid marginally more than men on a mean basis and are on par from a median perspective. The upper-middle quartile of staff, which includes associates, shows a pay gap of 2% in favour of women on a median basis. In the upper quartile, which includes senior associates and where 46.7% of staff are women, the median pay gap is 1.6% in favour of women.

The disparity between genders shifts to a median figure of 9.33% in favour of women in the lower quartile, where women make up 72.3% of the workforce.  However men still make up 53.3% of the upper quartile workforce at Slaughters, where Slaughters fare better than A&O with a pay gap that narrowly favours women by 1.58%.